The National Retail Federation (NRF) is predicting a big holiday shopping season: The organization forecasts a 3.7% increase in November and December sales, which is more than one percent over the average for the past decade. Leading sectors for the enormous shopping season are expected to include jewelry, clothing, building and gardening, electronics, appliances, food and beverage, home furnishings, books and music, and hobbies.While online sales account for a growing number of seasonal shoppers, local stores and restaurants are still full during holiday months. In fact, outings during the last months of the year put people in the holiday spirit, according to a survey from the NDP Group.

With so many stores and events competing for consumer attention during the holidays, retailers, restaurants, and others have to be innovative and interactive to attract attention and convert browsers to spenders. Digital signage for the holidays is a great way to capture shopper attention, and it also lets organizations make outings more entertaining and efficient.

Digital Displays – Especially Videos – Catch their Attention

Décor, food, music, and festival events fill retail, downtown, and other local areas beginning in early fall. With the smells, sounds, and sights of the season barraging consumer senses, shoppers might miss out on relevant retail or restaurant displays. Entering a shouting match with neighboring stores or events is sometimes futile, but well-placed digital displays might get your message through the chaos. According to an Arbiton, digital place-based video study, videos displayed in public catch the attention of around 70% of consumers.

Retailers can use digital signage to full effect by incorporating holiday-themed videos, music, and product messaging. Digital signs closer to entrances might entice holiday spirit seekers with sights and sounds that are exiting or comforting to many during the season. Further inside, establishments might display information about sales, promotions, or products.

Digital Signs Reduce Stress at Checkout

Consumers might seek the holiday spirit by shopping or dining, but the holidays usually come with a certain amount of stress. Most consumers are probably dealing with some combination of financial worry and over-extended schedules—not to mention the sore feet, hunger, and exhaustion that can accompany a day full of shopping. A PriceWaterhouseCoopers survey illustrates how important efficiency is to these shoppers: the top technology concern for consumers for the 2015 holiday season is the ease with which they can check out.

When crowds hit stores and malls, checkout lines are unavoidable. Retailers can reduce the stress of the experience by using digital signage to inform and entertain consumers while they wait. Digital signs are great for instructing crowds that change in size throughout the day and season. Because messaging on such signs can be changed on the fly, retailers can provide instructions at checkout stands. Stores can also provide family-friendly entertainment or information to keep consumers occupied. In fact, this is useful to reduce negative perceptions of wait times in checkout lines.

Begin Holiday Marketing in Style

Fundivo reports that 49% of stores begin marketing for Christmas as early as October, but retailers are aware of consumer perceptions of such tactics. Many consumers feel that a hard push of holiday wares early in the season is tacky. At the same time, retailers who wait until later in the season miss out on important revenue from early shoppers.

Digital signage, which can incorporate numerous content and advertising types, lets retailers introduce holiday marketing throughout the year. For example, pumpkin flavors hit dining establishments fast and furious around September or October of each year. However, a coffee shop with a digital display might incorporate a slide about upcoming pumpkin flavors in the summer. Since the slide rotates with other information, it doesn’t overwhelm those consumers. Still, the message reaches regular customers who are more likely to show up in the fall for a pumpkin-flavored treat. The same tactic can be used in a variety of businesses.

Incorporate the Internet

The NDP Group reports that more people will be conducting online research during the 2015 holiday shopping season than in 2014. Over 70% of shoppers plan to review information online and over 40% will read consumer reviews. Retailers can minimize the loss of sales to online venues by keeping shoppers offline and in their own stores. One way to do that is to give consumers the online research they want via digital signage.

Digital signage for the holidays can incorporate social media feeds, Yelp pages, and even information from online retailers. Retailers, such as H.H. Gregg, offer interactive digital kiosks that let customers look up prices from other stores. The retailer in question usually matches those prices.

Retailers run a risk by providing this information in such an open format. However, the benefits often outweigh the disadvantages, especially during holiday rushes. Holiday shoppers don’t always have time to find the best deal. Retailers that make it easy for shoppers to feel they’ve done their homework can make same-day sales.

Turn Holiday Customers into Year-Round Customers

It’s no secret that holiday shopping and spending accounts for the bulk of revenue for most retailers.

While relying on holiday traffic is a common strategy, turning holiday consumers into regular shoppers increases business stability. Try using digital signage to let shoppers know about deals in other seasons or to promote rewards programs. A large percentage of holiday shoppers are interested in deals! In fact, retailers who offer coupons or savings sign up new consumers during holiday events.

The right time to convert consumers is when they’re in a store. So, proven digital displays are critical through the holiday shopping season and the return season that follows.